California Has Only ONE Year Of Water Left

Last year, reports indicated that California had an estimated two years of water remaining. Because that water depletion is on schedule, the state has only one year of aqua left.

drought-780088_1280Did you know? January 2015, California endured its worst drought ever since 1895. Unfortunately, the crisis has not improved, meaning the state has only about one year’s supply of water left.

As the Los Angeles Times reports, snowpack levels are at an all-time low and, according to NASA satellites, all of the water in the Sacramento and San Joaquin river basins (and we mean all of it) is 34 million acre-feet below normal.

Last year, reports indicated that California had an estimated two years of water remaining. Because that water depletion is on schedule, the state has only one year of aqua left.

Nearly two-thirds of the groundwater in California has been siphoned to farmers to irrigate their crops. While it’s their only option – especially since their surface-water locations have been cut by 80-100%, it’s definitely not sustainable. Wells aren’t only running dry, the ground is losing moisture and sinking. In the Central Valley, there are areas of land sinking by one foot or more per year, shares Archinect.

Of course, it doesn’t help that Nestle continues to siphon and bottle California’s groundwater, either.

Credit: Inhabitat

Credit: Inhabitat

Unfortunately, there’s not a lot of positive news to sprinkle in with this article. California is drying up, and there’s no masking the drought’s devastation. 

Some still have hope that the problem can be rectified, however. Jay Famiglietti, a senior water scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, wrote in a piece for the Los Angeles Times that the following actions have to be taken to save California from completely shriveling up:

  1. First, mandatory water rationing needs to be implemented across “all of the state’s water sectors” including municipal, residential, commercial and agricultural.
  2. Second, lawmakers need to implement the Sustainable Groundwater Act of 2014 as soon as possible. This law “requires the formation of numerous regional groundwater sustainability agencies by 2017,” explains Famiglietti. “Then each agency must adopt a plan by 2022 and achieve sustainability 20 years after that. At that pace, it will be nearly 30 years before we even know what is working. By then, there may be no groundwater left to sustain,” he writes.
  3. Finally, the last point in his plan is for the creation of a task force of “thought leaders” who will brainstorm a solution for long-term water strategies.

“Our state’s water management is complex,” Famiglietti writes, “but the technology and expertise exist to handle this harrowing future. It will require major changes in policy and infrastructure that could take decades to identify and act upon. Today, not tomorrow, is the time to begin.”

What are your thoughts? Comment below and share this article.


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